No one cares……really!
An experience is happening to me right now and it’s showing a very interesting perspective…..here’s the story:
Prior to starting the “Entrepreneur Thing” I spent well over 20 years in the sales & marketing business primarily in the life sciences (e.g. medical devices, pharma, biotech), and along the way I’ve developed close friendships some business some personal. As far back as I can remember starting my first sales job the activity of asking someone to buy something from me was horrifying, to be honest I am surprised even today that I stuck with it 20+ years later. Yes, I had the attitude like most “Asking someone to buy my product will upset or bother them”, “ABC” for me wasn’t “Always Be Closing”…..it was “Anything BUT Closing”. But the epiphany I had which to this day has kept me in the sales & marketing game, I can only explain by giving a golf analogy. When I first learned to play golf I hated it because I didn’t see any logic in hitting a tiny ball and then going to retrieve it only to hit it again and starting that process over and over again….the concept was stupid to me. BUT, to this very day I can recollect that one time when I hit the ball off the tee and the feeling of the connection……hooked me. Unfortunately, I’ve been chasing that same feeling but I still enjoy the game (haha!!). When I received that first “YES” after closing a sale I had that familiar feeling as if I hit the ball smoothly off the tee…..it was euphoric. Of course in golf hitting the ball off the tee well consistently is difficult, and hearing the word “YES” consistently is just as challenging.
Setting that stage up and getting back to the close friendships I’ve made in corporate America, nothing has prepared me for the “Reality Hit” I’ve taken over the last 4 years. Since leaving the white walls and green carpeting of the “Home Office”, the feeling of “Indifference” I receive from trying to “Sell” myself, my consulting work, and recently new product brings me back to that horrifying 1st day as a new sales rep. I now find myself asking old colleagues/friends from my corporate days to buy “ME”, and interestingly I’m not receiving “NO”s” or “YESSES”……I’m getting “INDIFFERENCE”. The perspective is truly weird because these same colleagues who I use to cry with and enjoy success with are now my potential customers and I’m treated like any other sales rep….”INDIFFERENTLY”. I truly hope my old colleagues read this post because it’s not a slam against them; on the contrary, I want to THANK them for pushing me to step my game up and not take relationships for granted. I also hope and pray that they learn something too from the experience, because nothing in life is guaranteed and the skill set I’ve inherited from my recent experiences hopefully they’ll inherit one day.
Overcoming “INDIFFERENCE” is worse than rejection because it’s the poor man’s “NO”. It’s the customer’s easy way out by patting you on the back and kicking you in the a** on the way out the door. Sales and Marketing people face this form of “Pleasant NO” everyday yet very few know how to overcome it. I’ve developed training seminars that address “INDIFFERENCE” as a way of handling customer objections, but I’ll even admit the science of succeeding over it I’m still fine tuning. In the marketing profession, which I have years of experience in face “INDIFFERENCE” in the marketplace constantly. Let’s face it there are very few APPLE’S/STARBUCKS out there that have succeeded with what I call “Strong Inertia”, but that “Inertia” was gained through their beginning success with overcoming “INDIFFERENCE”. The easy answer and one I hear the most in overcoming “INDIFFERENCE” is “INNOVATION”….as long as you continue innovating you’ll defeat “INDIFFERENCE”. That’s somewhat true however bringing “INNOVATION” to market can also sometimes illicit “INDIFERENCE”. The key in my opinion to overcoming “INDIFFERENCE” is being “Visionary Persistent”. First, the “Vision” has to be thoroughly examined/accepted with an unwavering “Persistent” pursuit to the customer that brings about such an inertia effect that “INDIFFERENCE” almost doesn’t make sense. Again, APPLE and STARBUCKS have figured this out masterfully.
It’s been tough sledding for me selling myself through “INDIFFERENCE”…..but it’s a skill set I’m enjoying developing!
Overcoming “INDIFFERENCE”…..worse than rejection!
Check out one of my presentations that’s received “Popular” reviews (“Indifference” versus “Satisfaction” Marketing Strategy): http://www.slideshare.net/aharrell2000/indifference-versus-satisfaction-marketing-strategy
AH2 & Beyond Consulting